If you have been in a car accident, you are going through a lot. First of all, there is the shock of being in an accident. If you or someone else in your vehicle was injured in the accident, you also have that stress to contend with. When it comes to car accidents, things tend to come at you quickly, and chaos often prevails. Regardless of any of this, however, Texas law mandates that you stop and identify yourself after being involved in a car accident. If you are facing charges of failing to identify after a car accident, you need an experienced criminal attorney on your side.
Your Obligations after a Car Accident
If you have been involved in a car accident, you have certain obligations you must fulfill in the State of Texas, including:
Bringing your vehicle to a safe stop at the scene of the accident – or parking as close to the scene as possible and returning to the scene of the accident
Determining whether anyone in the other car was injured
If an occupant of the other vehicle was injured, providing reasonable assistance (calling 911 and doing whatever you can do to provide aid in the interim)
Remaining at the scene of the accident and providing your name and your contact information – along with your insurance information
Failure to Comply
If you fail to comply with the rules associated with car accidents, you can face serious charges and attendant consequences, including incarceration. The penalties you will face depend upon the seriousness of the charges, including:
- If the accident is fatal, you could face a second-degree felony charge, which is punishable by 2 to 20 years behind bars.
- If the accident leaves someone with a serious bodily injury, you could face a third-degree felony charge, which is punishable by 2 to 10 years behind bars.
- If the accident leaves someone with injuries that do not reach the level of serious bodily injury, you can still face up to 5 years behind bars.
The duty to fulfill your obligation after a car accident is an important obligation that you should take very seriously.
If You Are Involved in a Car Accident
If you are involved in a car accident, you should safely stop your car as close to the accident site as possible; render aid to the best of your ability; and provide the necessary information, including your name, your contact information, and your car insurance information. Beyond that, you should remain quiet. Do not admit fault, do not elaborate on what you believe caused the accident, and do not answer questions – other than what you are required to supply.